New York Yankees’ catching prospect Gary Sanchez was considered to be the favorite to win the backup catchers role. Now, it seems as if he won’t be on the Major League roster on Opening Day.
By Christian Kouroupakis
Gary Sanchez, you know, the New York Yankee prospect that drew comparisons to Hall of Famer Mike Piazza? Yeah, he has one hit this spring.
“Probably [pressing] a little bit,” manager Joe Girardi told Chris Schubert of SB Nation. “The first time you have an opportunity to make a club, I am sure there is a lot of excitement in that young man. We really believe he is going to be a really good player.”
In 10 games this spring Sanchez is 1-for-16 in ten games. His opponent for the backup catcher’s role, Austin Romine, has had a good and solid camp with a .263/.263/.421 slash line.
Sanchez is known as being a solid offensive catcher while and a not-so great defender, so he should not be given a roster spot if his bat is looking as porous as it is. Romine is considered an above average defender, is out hitting Sanchez thus far, and has experience as a major league back up.
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“He is having a really good camp,” Girardi told NY Post’s Fred Kerber and George A. King III. “I think he is catching the ball great, he is doing a good job with our pitchers and he is swinging the bat OK,”
The hype around Sanchez has been around ever since he was signed as a 16-year old amateur free agent, and now it seems as if we’ll have to wait before he has a role in the Bronx.
Romine, whose 27-year-old, could jump into the free agent pool if he’s not on New York’s opening day roster after this spring. General manager Brian Cashman might just make him the backup catcher while Sanchez picks himself up rather than lose Romine.
If Cashman decides to go that route, he will keep Sanchez under Yankee control for another year. If he is just pressing, that works best for the team.
This should be a warning to the Yankees to halt their comparisons to the all-time greats. I’m sure you remember what happened with Jesus Montero who was also considered as the “next Mike Piazza.”
He was Baseball America’s third best prospect next to Bryce Harper and Mike Trout but ended up being one of the biggest busts in Yankee history.
What’s happening with Sanchez is a typical situation in which the pressure grows too much for a young kid. The 23-year old has already struggled with maturity while climbing through the farm system, and setting all these expectations is just ridiculous.
Even during his current slump, Girardi said he still envisions him as a middle of the order hitter in the future. Let’s get out of fairy land, and into reality. Right now one of the untouchable prospects of your organization can’t seem to hit a baseball and comparisons and expectations aren’t halting.
It’s getting absurd. We see prospects bust all the time with this asinine connections of their unproven skills to hall-of-fame talent. Just for a second, imagine how tough it is to attempt to match what Mike Piazza has done in his career. It’s pretty damn tough!
The reality is, if Sanchez’s slump remains a constant from now until the end of Spring Training, Romine will be on the Opening Day roster and Sanchez will deservingly be set down. There’s no room on the 2016 Yankee roster for rookies with issues.